Banks are increasingly being asked by NGos and shareholders to ensure they have adequate investment policies in place and to ensure their investments are sustainable. This includes directing a suitable proportion of their investment towards solutions for climate change. It is good to see big international banks setting the standard and acting as a driving force for improvements across the market.
A report comparing the nature of Dutch bank investments has claimed that the climate policies of the big Dutch banks are insufficient and lag behind those of big international banks such as the Bank of America and Citigroup: ‘Investing in Climate Change: the Role of Dutch Banks and the Climate Performance Index. Friends of the Earth Netherlands (Milieudefensie) today presented these results during the annual meeting of the branch organisation for Dutch banks, NVB and called on all Dutch banks to improve their climate policies.
Many international banks recognise the role they play in causing climate change. They accept their responsibility by investing billions in the solution. Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are a criteria for approving investments and loans at the Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase and Citigroup. The Bank of America has a seven percent reduction target for the CO2 emissions of its investments in the energy sector.
The research for ‘Investing in Climate Change: the Role of Dutch Banks’, was conducted by Dutch Sustainability Research. The report and the Friends of the Earth Netherlands’ Climate Performance Index suggests that Dutch banks are failing in the area of climate policies. They claim that they lack concrete targets to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of their investments.